In 2022, we have written articles on UX and UI, two concepts that have become vital in web and application programming because they help us understand how our target works: what they like, what they don’t like, what he understands, and what he doesn’t… Despite this, they are still confused within companies, which makes it difficult to get the most out of them.
Therefore, we will help you understand what each of them is, how they differ and how you can integrate them into your work strategies to achieve the best possible results.
What is user experience and its design?
The User Experience, as we know it, brings together various concepts around an application/device. It includes physical factors like accessibility, visual layouts, and load times or more abstract ideas like familiarity, aesthetics, and satisfaction.
The ultimate purpose when resources are dedicated to UX is to create an experience for our users that is accessible, easy, and helps you achieve your goals about using our product. Otherwise, our client, potential or not, will look for a more useful product in the competition.
Commonly, 4 fundamental pillars are used to classify a UX as optimal:
- Usability: the product must be easy to understand and use for your potential customers
- Usefulness: the product has the necessary functionalities for the user. This includes facilities to contact if you need help
- Accessibility: the phrase “Limit to three clicks to get anywhere” is often used. Simply, your product should put as much information as possible in a way that is easy to find intuitively
- Functionality: the product must be optimized so that loading times are the minimum possible in time and number
How to avoid having a bad or negative experience with the public? The key is to test, test and test. Put yourself in the place of your target and explore all the possibilities that a user will want to explore. Test all of those scenarios to ensure there are no issues, and fix any that come up later during deployment.
What is the user interface and its design?
If the user experience is the sum of all the processes focused on optimizing the use of a product so that it is useful, simple and pleasant for users, the user interface is its aesthetic complement. The UI (User Interface) groups aspects such as the appearance of the application, its presentation during use and the level of interactivity that we can integrate, among others.
The motivation behind a UI design strategy should be to create a visual guide through a product’s interface. All visual components must be consistent, coherent and pleasing to the eye.
While the UX, as we have said before, groups physical and abstract concepts, the UI is purely digital; all the elements that belong to it (buttons, typography, images, …) remain strictly within the tools and the application itself. If those same elements generate any reaction or emotion in our user, it is considered part of the UX.
At this point, it is interesting to note that there are some tools that unite all these UX/UI design services, such as FIGMA, which offers us all the necessary tools to design a project, create prototypes and facilitates the deployment or «Hand-off» of design and development.
The difference between UX and UI design
Summarizing the two previous points, our user interface will be the means through which the user interacts with the application. Therefore, it is a very important factor when defining the experience that our target will have. In any case, it is (or should be) part of any UX design strategy. To give more context, we are going to comment on the two most notable differences between both terms.
The UI only exists visually, the UX does not
Going back to what we discussed when defining the UI, that term can only be applied to visual interfaces in a web or application: there is no screen, there is no UI. We cannot say the same about the UX, since the sensations of the users usually go beyond the screen. A great UX strategy is usually to eliminate all possible screens between the start and end point of the process.
UI drives the user, UX makes it worth following
The role of UX is, finally, to make the visual interface help as much as possible to the purpose that the user wants to fulfill with our product.
The UI makes navigation understandable and actions easy to perform. You can have the most accessible interface on the market, but if the user can’t do what he needs or doesn’t get a good impression while doing it, it won’t do any good.
The most notable benefits of combining UX and UI
As it could not be otherwise, the most important key of the two strategies that we are observing is the fact that they complement each other. Therefore, if you want to have good results in your strategies related to your products, you must apply them together. You must study your UX starting from the UI and you must base your UI on the UX that you want your users to have.
The three most notable advantages are:
High value for the public
An interface calculated from a strong UI strategy, together with a deep knowledge of your target thanks to the investment in UX, allows you to generate a product with much more value, which encourages you to use it as much as possible, generating a consistent level of traffic.
More chances to retain and delight your users
One of the most used metrics to measure the success of a website or application in terms of success among users is retention time: the time the user spends browsing our service.
By pairing a strong UX with a nice UI, the chances of retaining and keeping a user satisfied with the product are greatly increased. In addition, it can help generate even more traffic thanks to the recommendations to third parties of the most satisfied users.
If users can see that your company cares about delivering a complete and entertaining experience within its digital channels, they will trust you more and strengthen their relationship with you.
We live in a world where we all share with everyone, and that includes good and bad experiences with our efforts. If a user has had problems closing a trade on your service, they will comment on it. At the same time, if that same user has been able to operate more easily, they may recommend it to someone.
One way or another, your potential audience will talk about your brand (even if they don’t use your solution). That’s why it’s important to consistently keep up the good work on your UX and UI, because it will determine which comments will be the most numerous and visible.
In all professions, and especially in the world we live in today, our skills (even those outside of our main area of work) can become a key advantage against the competition and challenges that may come along the way.
Noelia Daiana Soria – UX Designer & Digital Specialist at Itequia